Category Archives: Chick Chat

Hunt for Thee Mascara

When I was a teenager, I discovered a mascara made by L’oreal called Splash Out. It never flaked, the waterproof version of it never streaked, it lengthened my puny eyelashes and made my nonexistent lower lashes visible.  Then a couple  years ago, it disappeared off the market.  Honestly, that’s how it goes with me. I have amazing brand loyalty, I’m more loyal to companies than they are to me as a consumer.  I’m not the only one, I know, because after obsessively checking the Internet for it, people started jacking up the price and selling it for ridiculous amounts of money on Amazon and eBay.

I’ve been known to call the manufacturer off the empty bottles of things to find out if they’ll ship me their product directly once it’s gone off the market.  Focus 21 shampoo and conditioners, I’m talking to you!

In sadness, I’ve been searching for an affordable alternative. One I can go to the local store and purchase, I’m not a “Go to Macy’s” kind of gal.  I’ve only found a couple of mascaras that compare.  First, I tried Maybelline’s Lash Stiletto.  That was pretty good but the brush didn’t really find all my tiny eyelashes, so I kept searching.  Then I found a mascara that Cover Girl made, but it’s pretty hard to find, which made me think that maybe they’re phasing it out… so I didn’t really want to get hooked on yet another product that was on its way out.

Yesterday, walking through Target, I ditched my husband and kid and studiously went through their makeup aisles. (I’m still looking for the perfect bronze lipstick to replace Revlon’s 101 Bronze Beauty, but that’s another story for another day.) Lo, what did I find?  L’oreal has a newish mascara on the shelves called Butterfly.  And they have a waterproof version of it.  I tried it this morning, so far so good. Despite my misgivings, the brush worked well.  I’m waiting to see how the formula holds up through the day.  If Amazon reviews are truthful, this may be my Big New Find!  My hunt for the perfect replacement mascara could be over!

My excitement is palpable!  And suddenly, a Monday isn’t all THAT bad, people!



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Hair Update — Week 4.

Last Sunday brought about the healthiest, shiniest hair I’ve seen to date in my pooless experiment. It was, dare I say, perfect? The hair I’ve always wanted… from the top to the tip. 25 inches of hairy bliss.

Monday morning things got a little weird because I tried using coffee grounds in my hair for coloring purposes. I was desperate, so I used it full strength, coffee grounds and all. Well, what it did was, it threw the texture off and it was odd (to say the least) to find coffee grounds in my hair (like black dandruff?) and to crave coffee all day. On the upside, no one but me knew and my hair smelled delicious.

After Monday night’s swim and shower (remember, I’ve been using a baking soda rinse & lemon juice), Tuesday my hair seemed a little dry. I determine “dry” by the amount of tangling I get during the day. Which told me that the coconut oil was indeed causing my oily issues. So Tuesday night, instead of my lemon juice rinse, I used an Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) rinse which, according to Google, is very near to our hair’s natural PH and as such acts as a cleaner and seals the hair shaft. Sure it smells kind of like pickles while it’s wet, but I like pickles.

Wednesday night I again used the baking soda rinse and ACV rinse. My hair seemed a tiny bit better, but still a little dry. So I used a little sulfate free conditioner to see if that helped.

Thursday night I added a tablespoon of aloe vera to the ACV rinse, as well as some rosemary. Aloe vera for moisture and rosemary for scent (nothing quite like pickled rosemary, I say) and hair color. I grow both items in containers in my back yards, so they were readily available.

Saturday after my swim, I used an all natural henna hair coloring gel. The bottle was pretty small, so I wondered if I’d be able to color all of my hair. Of course it didn’t say anything on the outside of the box about needing to buy two for long hair, only on the internal instructions, so I decided to do what I could with what I had. Turns out, there was plenty for such a small bottle and I even have some left over. The best thing about this colorant, since it contains no peroxide or other “bad” things, I can reapply as often as needed, even right away! It didn’t strip my hair, I had zero(!!) loss of hair and it left my hair soft, even during the rinse. I love the color, too. I used ACV post-coloring and my hair felt fine.

In summary, what I did this week:

Hair coloring: Tried coffee grounds. Tried rosemary. Purchased “natural” coloring agents at Mother’s Market on Wednesday and used it on Saturday. The coffee and rosemary didn’t noticeably change my hair’s color, but it did give my hair a deep sheen. Love the new “natural” henna hair color kit. It “washes out gradually”, hopefully the “gradual” slows down because I was a little concerned about how much of it came out with this morning’s post-swim rinse.

Hair growth: I had to snip 3/4 of an inch off my bangs to keep them out of my eyes. I could have easily snipped an entire inch, but I want them just a bit longer than the length they were cut to 4 weeks ago. But, that tells me that the rest of my hair has likely grown between 3/4″ to 1″ since I had it trimmed 4 weeks ago. That’s pretty rockin’ for hair growth, I think.

Hair cleaning/conditioning: Continued using baking soda rinse. Added rosemary and aloe vera to my Apple Cider Vinegar rinse. Used sulfate free conditioner once when hair felt too dry. Did not use any lemon water rinse this week. I’m only using the club soda until the bottle I have is gone. In the course of researching exactly what baking soda and apple cider vinegar do to hair, I learned that, apparently, they are both chlorine neutralizers. The club soda doesn’t hurt, but I now believe it to be an unnecessary expense and just how much chlorine do I need to kill?

Here’s my bottles — the blue one has the baking soda rinse, the red one is the Apple Cider Vinegar rinse and the yellow one has the lemon juice rinse:

Plans for this week: I would like to cut back the BSR to every other day, and alternate the ACV rinse with the sulfate free conditioner. When I used the sulfate free conditioner this past week, I nearly hyperventilated it smelled so good! Talk about glory for my senses! The reason I stopped using the conditioner was because I thought it was causing the oiliness that I was experiencing. Now that I’ve isolated that to the coconut oil that I pre-treated my hair with before swimming, I think I can start trying the sulfate free conditioner again.
Taken today, post-coloring. The sun had set, so I used the camera’s flash.

Overall, I’m very, very pleased with how this experiment is coming along. I’m getting more and more ready to ditch all my shampoo bottles. I love how my hair feels to me. In fact, I’m pleased to report that this is turning into a new way of doing things and less and less of an experiment every day.

Skin Care: In addition to all of the above, I started using the BSR and a washcloth on my face as a cleanser. As my hormones shift through my cycle, I get painful outbreaks of under-the-skin acne on my face and back. The frustrating part of that is, just when the acne clears up from the break-out due to ovulation, it breaks-out again when my menses get ready to start, then clears up just in time for the ovulation break-out. I’m hoping that a more natural cleansing will help.

…and finally, I’d like to thank my husband for putting up with all these weird bottles rotating in and out of the shower, sitting outside of the shower, or some inside while others are outside, all because I’m trying to figure this stuff out. The man has an inordinate amount of patience with me, because I know full well that if I were him, I’d be irritating myself. Thank goodness I’m me and he’s him. If that made any sense at all.


Filed under Chick Chat, Hair Can Be a Topic of Conversation

Love & Loathe — 011309


*Loreal’s Hip line of cosmetics. I am pretty rough on my eyeliner. I have allergies (equals teary eyes, rubbing them, etc.), I swim, sometimes I even cry. Normally eyeliner on me is just gone by the end of the day. These “crayon” type of eyeliners go on smooth and last all day.

Morning, just after applying vs. Evening, after work (with no touch-ups during the day).

* This fuzzy, soft sitting pillow. I’ve been looking for just the right one for over a year now and finally found this a couple days ago for $10 at a discount store. I know, it’s kind of … uncouth, but it’s absolutely hilarious to hear Tony yell about “THE SCARY MONSTER PILLOW!!”

* This month’s newsletter, so far, has required the least amount of writing work I’ve ever put into it since I started there. Here I thought it was going to turn into my worst nightmare. Shows what I know.

* I decided to start posting on my photo blog again. I missed doing that.

* Circle of Beauty’s Alluring Poppy lotion. I wore it for the first time in 3-4 years and got two random compliments that went like this: “*sniff, sniff* You smell really good!” Too bad it’s almost gone and I can’t find it ANYWHERE!

* These short fact books. They’re kind of Cliff Claven-ish in that it’s random bits of knowledge about random things. But I was laughing while reading them in the store today, which is saying something since I’m struggling with depression right now.


* Sweating. Umm, hello, weather? I put my summer jammies away last month. What’s the deal with the heat wave all of a sudden? We’re talking high 80’s here, people.

* Depression. It’s been nipping at my heels for a couple days now and really hit me hard today. I’ve been weepy and sad — dratted estrogen, I hate hormones.

* This one is huge to me. Hilo Hattie‘s has filed for bankruptcy and our local store at The Block has CLOSED! I can’t believe it. We were just there when we went to see Valkyrie. I am totally tragedized by this. It is, after all, where we got our wedding outfits. And my coffee, my delicious coconut coffee. 😥

Funny Moment:

How one can tell if there’s a baby visiting the office…


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